Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Yesterday we asked, did Dirty Don commit crimes? Today, the answer

Yes: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/ben-wittes-five-conclusions-mueller-report/588259

But impeachment still might be a trap for the Dems


History will not be kind to AG William Barr or Lindsey Graham and the enabling Republicans who have chosen to ignore the very serious findings of the Mueller Report

Attorney General Barr, afraid of being questioned by lawyers, threatens to skip House hearing

Senate Republican inaction in the wake of the Mueller report, explained 

It's a full-on cover-up now 

Trump sues Deutsche Bank, Capital One to block House subpoenas 

More: https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/30/graham-urges-trump-to-fight-like-hell-against-subpoenas/ 
“A defiant Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday that President Donald Trump should ignore congressional subpoenas demanding the administration turn over records to Capitol Hill, even though the South Carolina Republican once noted a similar fight had contributed to Richard Nixon’s downfall” 

Trump's delusions are hurting us all 

“In two meetings in the White House in recent months, Trump said repeatedly that Russia’s efforts didn’t change a single vote, even though his advisers have never suggested that they did, and he continually insisted that the campaign was not ‘hacked.'”

Trump at a rally does his typical thing, bragging that he is already doing something that his people have told him he can't do

Trump pretends his sanctuary cities scheme is in effect (it’s not)

Trump denies that he paid a ransom to North Korea for the release of Otto Warmbier. His own people contradict him



Trump declares war on Fox World's Judge Andrew Napolitano




Because Trump considers Fox World to be a branch of his own communications dept, he thinks nothing of just picking up the phone and calling them, confident that they will put him directly on the air to spout whatever nonsense he wants


Trump at odds with Mitch McConnell over the budget

Pelosi and McConnell want regular appropriations and no more short-term continuing resolutions that Trump can use to shut down government again. Both Pelosi and McConnell want to try to avoid the cuts that forced the Budget Control Act from 2011, the law that averted a debt ceiling crisis by setting automatic spending cuts, for their own interests. Pelosi needs to avoid further domestic spending cuts and fight for increases. McConnell needs a plan than can get 60 votes and not allow Trump the opportunity to shut down the government. The White House doesn't want McConnell making any deals with Pelosi, since the deal would have raised both defense and non-defense spending to pass. . . .

Trump isn't happy that the Firefighters Union endorsed Biden instead of him


More: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/29/politics/donald-trump-joe-biden-attacks/index.html
President Donald Trump appeared unnerved as Joe Biden secured the endorsement of the top firefighters' union, issuing Monday morning a string of four tweets targeting the Democratic presidential candidate and union leaders. That's exactly the behavior several of the President's political advisers have been warning him against, wary that Trump will elevate a potentially formidable rival . . .

The NRA is in trouble


In other investigation news. . . 

On Kushner's meeting with Dimitri Simes, and why it matters


The Mueller report finished, Rod Rosenstein resigns


In other news . . .

A fake smear campaign against Pete Buttigieg


Kamala Harris makes a big hire


Beto tries to break out of the pack

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke labeled climate change "the greatest threat we face" as he called for $5 trillion to be spent over the next decade with the goal of neutralizing carbon emissions in the U.S. by midcentury. . . .

I'm all for Big Ideas: but the Dems would do well to identify more modest, winnable issues too

Medicare for Kids

The serious dangers of a second Trump term


But Trump has a huge disadvantage going into 2020: people know him now

55% of respondents said they will not vote for President Trump next year, with just 39% approving of his job as president. Just 28% said they definitely would vote for Trump, while another 14% said they would consider it. . . 

Trump deeply, deeply underwater with voters on health care

Despite Trump spin, most Americans believe economy mostly benefits rich and powerful

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Monday, April 29, 2019


Trump says that since they stopped tearing children away from their parents the border has become like "Disneyland"


More: https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/28/trump-says-hes-sending-migrants-to-sanctuary-cities/
President Trump told a Wisconsin rally that his administration is sending undocumented migrants to sanctuary cities. Said Trump: “Last month alone, 100,000 illegal immigrants arrived at our borders, placing a massive strain on communities … and public resources, like nobody has ever seen before. Now we’re sending many of them to sanctuary cities, thank you very much. They ain’t too happy about it.” He added: “I’m proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea.”

AG William Barr now says he might not testify before Congress at all


More: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/28/nadler-barr-testimony-mueller-report-1291391
“The witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period,” the chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), told CNN on Sunday.

And another one

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings has pulled back from plans to initiate contempt proceedings against former White House security clearance chief Carl Kline — who blew off a subpoena demanding his testimony earlier this week — instead agreeing to interview Kline with a White House lawyer present. . .

This is how Trump describes abortion
"The baby is born, the mother meets w/the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully. Then the doctor and mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby."
Did Trump break the law? (thanks to DK for the link)


In other news . . .

A large number of Sanders supporters say they will vote for Trump if Bernie doesn't get the nomination. Trump knows that

Trump warns Sanders he is being cheated again
Bonus item: A new record!
***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Sunday, April 28, 2019


What do you do with a President who has complete contempt for Congress, the balance of powers, and Constitutionally authorized oversight?

While executive privilege is a common presidential tool, historians note that Mr. Trump’s usage is decidedly uncommon, if not unprecedented. Unlike his predecessors, who invoked privilege in specific cases, Mr. Trump has vowed that he will not cooperate with any congressional inquiry. He is effectively declaring lawmakers powerless over him. This, warn the experts, puts the nation in uncharted territory and threatens to erode its democratic foundations. . . .

Inside The Possible Legal Ramifications Of Trump’s Executive Privilege Play

Trump’s Stonewalling Pushes House Democrats Towards Impeachment

By the way, here are the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, Article 3

In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon . . . has failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives . . . In refusing to produce these papers and things Richard M. Nixon, substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the powers of the Presidency against the the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives. . . . 

And while we're at it, here is Article 1

The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan included one or more of the following:
  1. making false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;
  2. withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;
  3. approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings;
  4. interfering or endeavouring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, and Congressional Committees;
  5. approving, condoning, and acquiescing in, the surreptitious payment of substantial sums of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of witnesses, potential witnesses or individuals who participated in such unlawful entry and other illegal activities;
  6. endeavouring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency, an agency of the United States;
  7. disseminating information received from officers of the Department of Justice of the United States to subjects of investigations conducted by lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States, for the purpose of aiding and assisting such subjects in their attempts to avoid criminal liability;
  8. making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been conducted with respect to allegations of misconduct on the part of personnel of the executive branch of the United States and personnel of the Committee for the Re-election of the President, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct: or
  9. endeavouring to cause prospective defendants, and individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect favoured treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony, or rewarding individuals for their silence or false testimony.
[NB: With the exception of #5, perhaps, looks like a cut and paste job.]
UVA men's basketball championship team won't visit the White House

The university is located in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a deadly white supremacist rally took place two summers ago. . . . While Bennett did not mention the president or politics in his statement, it was released just hours after Trump once again defended his comments on Charlottesville.

This is NFL draft time. Trump takes time off his busy Twitter schedule to congratulate one particular kid who got drafted. Why him, and not the hundreds of others?


In other investigation news. . . 

Rod Rosenstein was in a tough spot, and by all accounts he is a survivor. He did protect Mueller. But did he go too far in pledging fealty to Trump?


Remember? https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-rosenstein/deputy-attorney-general-rosenstein-flying-with-trump-to-florida-idUSKCN1MI1ER
[October 8, 2018] U.S. President Donald Trump said he had a “good talk” on Monday with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Justice Department official in charge of the federal investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and has no plans to fire him. . . . “The press wants to know, ‘What did you talk about?’” Trump said at the start of his speech after he thanked Rosenstein for being there and noted the intense media interest. “We had a very good talk, I will say. . . .” Trump said. . . . “I didn’t know Rod before, but I’ve gotten to know him, and I get along very well with him,” he said.

In other news . . .

Trump's gun fantasies on full display at the NRA

“Get over here! Boom. Get over here! Boom. And then they left.”

The NRA is at war with itself




New York Attorney General Launches Investigation Into the National Rifle Association 

Trump wants six more years. . . at least


What do you do when you are a blatantly unqualified candidate for a major government position, with a long history of stupid and offensive comments? You hire a PR firm!

Stephen Moore

Beto is off to a rocky start -- so he's trying a reboot


The debate over facial recognition


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

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Saturday, April 27, 2019


Mueller's report is a detailed case against Trump for obstruction, though he makes clear he didn't think he could indict him. How effective were Dirty Don's efforts?


More: https://www.vox.com/2019/4/26/18514290/mueller-report-findings-trump-obstruction-justice
How to get away with obstructing justice

[Mick Mulvaney, Acting Chief of Staff] Often, Mulvaney said, the president is not telling aides “to do something illegal”; he’s “just giving me ideas on what his priorities are and what he wants to accomplish.”

What Mueller's prosecutors thought

Two prosecutors from the special counsel’s office said privately there was enough evidence to file federal criminal charges of obstruction of justice against President Trump over his efforts to halt an FBI probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn . . 
Trump is now describing the Mueller investigation (begun by HIS OWN appointees) as an "attempted coup"



More: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/25/politics/donald-trump-robert-mueller-twitter/index.html
Donald Trump sent 3 tweets on the Mueller probe Thursday morning. He got (at least) 6 facts wrong.
What options do the Dems have to force compliance with their subpoenas?
Rod Rosenstein says Russian meddling was even worse than you think
". . . only the tip of the iceberg of a comprehensive Russian strategy to influence elections, promote social discord, and undermine America"
Rosenstein also says it was Obama's fault for not calling the alarm about Russian meddling in 2016. Doesn't he remember what happened?

The Obama intelligence team, including CIA chief John Brennan, had a plan for informing the public on the full extent of the information they had on Russia's election subversion efforts. They took it to the congressional Gang of Eight, the leadership of both chambers and the chairs and ranking members of the intelligence committees. They had a strong, bipartisan statement ready to go, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell single-handedly vetoed it. He was the lone holdout among the eight lawmakers, refusing to sign on. Beyond that, he threatened to make the election even more toxic, saying that he would tell the nation that Obama was lying about Russia's involvement on behalf of Trump and trying to fix the election for Hillary Clinton. . . .

[NB: Look, it proved to be a mistake. Everyone assumed Trump would lose, and that something that looked like Obama was trying to sabotage Trump could backfire and actually help him. So he needed bipartisan support to do it -- and certainly an assault on our voting is an outrage that all parties should oppose. But you can't overestimate McConnell's cynicism. Yes, as things turned out Obama should have done it anyway.]
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has been criticized for his role in the very pro-Trump tilt the Department of Justice has given the Mueller Report, once vowed to Trump that he was “on his team” and could guarantee Mueller treated him “fairly,” the Washington Post reported Friday. “I give the investigation credibility,” Rosenstein reportedly said, according to one official familiar with the conversation who talked to the Post. “I can land the plane.” 

Russia has plans for 2020 too -- in fact, THEY'VE NEVER STOPPED

[NB: Meanwhile, we are told that the Sect'y of Homeland Security is told not to raise the threat of Russian interference with Trump because it makes him angry. That's an abdication of responsibility on a major national security issue.]
Trump lies about what he really said after Charlottesville
On Friday, President Donald Trump reiterated his belief that the white supremacist protesters that chanted a Nazi slogan while carrying torches through Charlottesville, Virginia, two summers ago were simply acting out of a sincere belief that the memory of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee needed to be preserved in the public square in statuary. It was a moment reminiscent of his initial remarks on the violent protests which claimed the life of a young woman, when he characterized both sides as “very fine people.” . . . “He was a great general,” said Trump, of Lee, adding, “People were there protesting the taking down of the monuments.”

“[I]f you look at what I said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly.”
Trump’s new defense of his Charlottesville comments is incredibly false 
Yes, President Trump, Robert E. Lee was a great “American” general, who attended West Point, led American soldiers to victory as a commander in the Mexican War and was beloved by his men. Until 1862, that is, when he turned traitor and gave up his commission in the US Army for a stint as commanding general of the “Confederate States of America” . . . A devoted son of Virginia, Lee returned home and took up arms against the United States of America whose Constitution he had sworn to protect and defend. What Trump does not get is that but for the grace of President Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and their whole posse should have been hung for treason. . . .

Trump kills one arms treaty (Obama's) so he can create his own. . . . maybe

In other news . . . 

Trump brags that he is the greatest hostage negotiator . . . ever  


Trump denies that $2 million was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier's release


Because he is a petulant juvenile, don't ever tell Trump that he CAN'T do something


How Trump bullies Fox World


What Trump's preference for "Acting" officials does to the functioning of government

Trump resorts rejected dozens of U.S. workers so they could hire low-wage foreign workers

He just says s--t

“I think that I just feel like a young man, I am so young, I can’t believe it. I’m the youngest person,” he said when asked “how old is too old” to run for President. “I am a young, vibrant man. I look at Joe, I don’t know about him. I don’t know.” 

Joe Biden: https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/26/bonus-quote-of-the-day-1139/
“If he looks young and vibrant compared to me, I should probably go home.”

Is it possible that after all this the Dem race will be between Biden and Bernie?

It might be a strategy. . .

More: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/26/biden-apology-accusers-anita-hill-1290843 

Most people DO NOT want impeachment

Currently 37% of Americans favor starting the process that could lead to impeachment, a slight dip over the past month, while 56% say they oppose the idea, about the same as a month ago. Asked their view of whether the report cleared Trump of all wrongdoing, 53% of Americans say it did not while 31% say it did.

Bonus item: After the "deepfake" item yesterday, I still can't decide if this video is legit -- but it is all over the Internets, and if accurate it's pretty amazing (thanks to DR for the link)


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***